Steinbeisser a stellar starter
By Eric Peterson
The Forum

Concordia running back Dan Steinbeisser received some bad news last Saturday morning before the Cobbersí game with Moorhead State at Jake Christiansen Stadium.

The 6-foot senior received a call from his parents saying they would not be able to make it to his first college start.

"I was a little disappointed," Steinbeisser said. "They were really disappointed, especially my dad."

The reason Dave and Dawn, Danís parents, were not able to make the game was because of Paul, Danís brother.

The Steinbeissersí plan was to watch Paul play football Friday night and drive to Moorhead to watch Dan Saturday. But Paul, a sophomore fullback and linebacker at Sidney (Mont.) High School (Danís alma mater), suffered a cracked larynx to throw a wrench into the plan.

"Iíve never heard of (that kind of injury)," Dan said. "But he might be able to play this week. Itís an injury thatís supposed to heal itself."

This week Dan expects his parents to make it to Jake Christiansen Stadium for his first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference start. The Cobbers open the conference season against Gustavus Adolphus at 1 p.m.

"Theyíll make it up this weekend come hell or high water," Steinbeisser said. "If my brother canít play, heíll be up here too."

Steinbeisser had a performance in which his whole family could take pride during Concordiaís 17-7 season-opening victory over Moorhead State last weekend. He rushed for 151 yards on 27 carries and caught three passes for 18 yards. Steinbeisser said he was pleased with his performance.

"It was a good game for me, I ran for quite a few yards," Steinbeisser said. "But most of those yards you can credit to the offensive line. The holes were there to run through."

Steinbeisserís performance was even more impressive when you consider he missed a majority of fall practice with a pulled hamstring.

"We wondered if the guy would be ready to play. I worried about him being in condition," said Concordia coach Jim Christopherson. "It looked like heíd been a starter for two years."

Steinbeisser came to Concordia with hopes of leading the Cobbers from the quarterback position. As a senior, he led Sidney High School to the Montana Class AA state championship. Steinbeisser played on the Sidney varsity squad the last three years of a seven-year state championship streak.

But as a sophomore at Concordia, Steinbeisser decided he would get the best chance to play if he moved to running back.

"He just wasnít quite a good enough passer on the college level," Christopherson said.

Christopherson said Steinbeisser was good enough to play running back before his senior season, but faced one big obstacle. He was stuck behind all-MIAC performer Eli Schuff.

"We felt he was just a shade behind Eli last year," Christopherson said. "But Eli just never wanted to come out of the game. (Steinbeisser) should have played more."

But Steinbeisser said his waiting wasnít wasted. It gave him time to learn a position that was relatively new to him.

"I learned a lot of stuff from Eli," Steinbeisser said. "He had played running back his whole life and I was just starting to learn the position. It was nice to have someone with experience in front of me."

Now the conference opener is in front of Steinbeisser, who wants to build on his strong Crystal Bowl performance. He expects the going will be tougher against Gustavus because he was an unknown quantity entering the game against the Dragons.

"Now that theyíve seen what I can do in a game, theyíll be ready for it," Steinbeisser said. "It wonít be as big a surprise. I think I surprised (Moorhead State) a little because they hadnít seen me on film."

NOTES: Starting junior weak-side linebacker Jamie Aanenson, who was hurt on the first play from scrimmage against Moorhead State Saturday, will be out for 2-3 weeks with ligament damage in his foot. Senior Craig Gilbert, coming off of a knee injury from a year ago, will take Aanensonís spot. ... Starting senior strong safety Chris Johnson will be out 2-3 weeks with strained knee ligaments. Sophomore Chad Bertram will step in for Johnson. ... Junior Lance Larson will start at defensive end against Gustavus. He played in a reserve role against Moorhead State. ... Backup sophomore running back Casey Marshall, who didnít dress for the Moorhead State game, wonít dress for the Gustavus game because of a pulled quadriceps muscle. ... Backup freshman offensive tackle Scott Jorgenson will not dress Saturday because of strained knee ligaments.

1997 Cobber Football